Mother’s Day and Forgiveness

Bunch of Tulips
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While most people are celebrating Mother’s Day today, remembering all the good things mothers do and have done in their unconditional love for their children, I saw a post on Face Book by someone who did not share this experience. It was obvious that the mother in question had caused a great deal of pain and Mother’s Day reminded her of all this past hurt, rubbing salt in her wounds.

I felt for her as I saw some connections with her previous posts and looked for quite some time on google for the right article expressing the thoughts going through my mind to make her feel better. From years of research to find answers and solutions for my own (different) issues, I felt I may have some insights of interest to her, but failed to locate an article able to express everything I wanted to tell her.

Many years ago a Tibetan Buddhist Monk told me that they believe that stress creates poison arrows in the body. At that time I was going through a stressful period and did not understand the mechanics of this, however could see the negative results it had on my own health. In my quest for answers I read many articles based on scientific research and learned that the body produces very different chemicals in a state of stress than when feeling happy and in harmony. These chemicals cause indeed a lot of havoc from digestive problems to psychological disorders and can eventually even lead to terminal illness, if not corrected in time.

In my case most of my stress was caused by habits absorbed into my subconscious during my early childhood. How this exactly works is very well explained by Dr. Bruce Lipton, (https://www.brucelipton.com/about and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pJwYcK08iQ) for anyone wanting to understand the mechanics better. I absorbed these habits by observing my mother and yes I did blame her a bit for raising me into a stress filled person, until I looked at our family history in more detail.

She had been through a very stressful period in her own life not long before I came along. She was the sole caretaker of 3 elderly men, including my quadriplegic grandfather, after her mother passed away from a stroke at the age of 53. My grandmother also had been through a lot of difficulties during her short life.

Most people react from their subconscious the majority of time (research suggests 95%) and are unaware of the origins of most of their responses, because they relate to a part of their life that has very few conscious memories left! This is due to the fact that the mind works in a different state after the age of 6, compared to when a lot of these memories were made and “recorded” into the subconscious before that.

Understanding this, it becomes clear that my stress response habit was subconsciously “inherited” from at least 2 generations before me, if not more. Thankfully I also absorbed a lot of good habits, that show to me that subconscious habits are extremely important for functioning well overall.

I am grateful that nowadays access to this sort of information is so easy using the internet and that I found an understanding that there was really no one to blame for my predicament because the people that had passed it to me were in reality victims themselves! The good news is, I was able to break this chain by educating myself and work on changing my subconscious patterns.

Going back to the start, how can this post help the situation of the person suffering pain from the childhood memories? The understanding that this mother inadvertently may have been a victim herself, reacting unconsciously out of subconscious habits, can possibly transform her pain and grudge into compassion and forgiveness.

Pain and grudges cause stress resulting in disease, whereas compassion and forgiveness lead to health and happiness! Education, understanding and awareness are the key to healing the past! Maybe today is a good day to break the chain of past suffering and start healing?

Happy Mothers Day!

 

 

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The Flame of Freedom

Ignition of the Flame of Freedom, courtesy of http://www.susantouwphotography.com/
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Today, May 4rth, is the day to remember the suffering of the past in the Netherlands. After last weeks post it may seem a little repetitious, however to me, feeling privileged holding two nationalities, it is important to appreciate the freedom I have enjoyed my entire life.

There will be a minute of silence to connect to the past and remember all the people that lost their lives in WW2, victims as well as freedom fighters.

Tomorrow, on the 5th of May, the freedom regained is celebrated in honoring all those foreign and Dutch soldiers that contributed.

Picture of Dutch citizens celebrating freedom after WW2, borrowed from http://www.piqueshow.com/bevrijdingsdag/

Picture of Dutch citizens celebrating freedom after WW2, borrowed from http://www.piqueshow.com/bevrijdingsdag/

2015 is the 70th anniversary of this event and it is good to see that the gratitude is still alive among the generations that have never been through it, that can only imagine what it was like to live under occupation of a dictatorship compared to what they are experiencing now.

A group of young people, from several countries involved, recently went on a bicycle tour, taking the “Flame of Freedom” to revisit several memorial monuments:

While remembrance is far from a fun thing to do, it is important to remember that we can do the fun things because of the sacrifices made. It is important to have gratitude for what was achieved in order to maintain the liberties and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Only if things go back to what once was, will they have suffered in vain. We can choose to embrace our differences with compassion and understanding the connection all humans share, that ultimately we all want freedom and happy lives.

Unfortunately it takes those unhappy events to give us the perspective to recognize what happy free lives look like and appreciate what we have. Lets keep the Flame of Freedom alive!

What would we think of the light if there was no darkness?

Yin/Yang World picture courtesy of: http://feng-shui.lovetoknow.com/Yin_Yang_Pictures

Yin/Yang World picture courtesy of: http://feng-shui.lovetoknow.com/Yin_Yang_Pictures

Top image (Ignition of the Flame of Freedom) courtesy of http://www.susantouwphotography.com/

 

Anzac Day

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Why reblog Jack Easons post about remembering war heroes in a blog that aims to uplift? As an Aussie now, how can I not?

These questions took me a while to get my head around as I do not feel glad the Anzacs had to give their lives following orders for a mission that in hind sight was a bad idea. I do not want to go down that depressing road.

Jack is right however about the importance of remembering this day. There are people nowadays that say: “How long do we have to remember them for?” What significance does something that happened 100 years ago have now, in a completely different world?

Or is it?

Yes, technology has altered our lives dramatically, but did we learn from that experience? Has the world overcome violence and war?

We do have the power to change that as soon as we focus our thoughts NOT on the cruelties that happened, but what they happened for.

The Anzacs signed up so we could all live in harmony in a free country. They achieved a part of that, now it is up to us to keep working and focusing on harmony so history will not repeat again!

Lest we forget…

Pollyesther

Have We Had Help?

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

We Will Remember Them.

***

If you grew up in New Zealand and spent the vast majority of your life there as I did before returning to England, the land of my birth, Anzac Day is the most important day in the calendar for any Kiwi or Aussie…

 

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Rest in peace my brothers…

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1000 voices speak for compassion

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“Compassion is the emotion that one feels in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.” is what Wikipedia tells us. While it is easy to find compassion for victims of brutality, finding it for the perpetrators is another matter as is evidenced in the blog post by Jo Robinson I came across that alerted me to the cause of “1000 voices speak for compassion”. (https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/does-everyone-deserve-compassion/)

I am normally not too religiously inclined, but that post brought a quote to mind that made me think about this some more from a perspective that could help create more compassion. “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” Luke 23-34. It seems that Jesus felt compassion for the people that put him on the cross. A more current example is the Dalai Lama, who is today’s main advocator for compassion. Despite all the violence committed against him and his beloved country of Tibet, he is able to find compassion for the perpetrators! How is it that there are actually people out there that firmly believe that forgiveness and compassion is the right response to combat violence? Our “normal” response would generally at least be a good beating or jail to punish the person that is committing the violence. After all they had a choice of not doing it, or did they?

From psychological research it appears that humans form most of their beliefs, habits and understanding of the world and society they grow up in during the first 6 years of their lives. They do this by absorbing habits and ideas of those closest to them, like immediate family. This immediate family mostly acts on their beliefs formed in their childhood with a few added more current ones they have taken on board deliberately by “free” choices colored by their society and culture’s ideas of moral and justice. Thinking about this I cannot help but question how free our choices really are? How much of what we believe is really our very own opinion? How much is absorbed from the media, friends and family?

It is not until we truly question those beliefs within, that we can realize how wrong some of them can be. There are many games and movies based on the subject of justice and revenge and who doesn’t have a little feel good moment when the bad guy gets his serve? But really think about it, if you were a bad guy getting your serve, wouldn’t you feel even more hatred towards this underdog? Who does he think he is, that he can do that to you? He needs to be punished some more! Can you see where this is going?

In my own life this “justified” retaliation has been evident in a lingering undercurrent of hatred towards the Germans in Europe. Even now there are people that feel it justified to double charge a German tourist or break the antenna of a car with German license plates parked in a country that was occupied by previous generations seventy years ago! Those actions seem insignificant compared to what the Germans did, right?

We now know that the majority of Germans at that time had no idea about what happened in those camps that their rulers conveniently covered up as work camps. They allowed Hitler to rise on promises for a more prosperous future during a time of recession and poverty, unaware of the hidden agenda until it was too late. They acted in favor of him, believing he would fix their dire situation. By the time some started waking up to the evil that was happening, it was too late to speak up or they too would have become victims.

From this we can conclude that we all have the potential of serious violence in us, if we are directly threatened or brainwashed (as in taken on false beliefs), but the majority of us is mostly peace loving with a few minor flaws. There is a real danger in most modern societies now, with movies, games and even the news subtly influencing our sense of justice and need for revenge, increasing their violence ever more to keep the audience entertained, that this need for revenge will bite us on the bum one day.

We need to question what revenge actually achieves and makes us into. Would empathy and compassion not create a better understanding of the real reason behind violent actions that are committed, based upon the false belief that they will relieve a threat in some perverted way? Do they REALLY KNOW what they are doing?